CONDUIT GALLERY // APR01 // 6-8PM
Conduit Gallery
1626 C Hi Line Drive. Dallas, TX 75207  214.939.0064
www.conduitgallery.com
Gallery hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 AM – 5 PM

Gabriel Dawe
Plexus 37
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Sarah Ball
Kindred
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Project Room
Ellen George      APRIL

April 01 - May 13, 2017
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GABRIEL DAWE                                                                                                           Plexus 37

Conduit Gallery is honored to announce a solo exhibition of work by Gabriel Dawe.
For the past six years, Dallas artist Gabriel Dawe has become internationally
recognized for his Plexus series of large scale, site specific installations utilizing
bright gradients of suspended thread.

The Plexus series is an ongoing series of installations that explore the implications of
thread and fibers as loaded materials that frame the complicated construction of
gender and identity not only Dawe’s native Mexico, but throughout the western
world. These installations are related as well to the human need for shelter and man’s
ultimate vulnerability.

Dawe’s first installation at Conduit Gallery Plexus no. 2: Convergence (2010) wrapped
the three walls of the gallery’s Project Room creating an enveloped space exceeding
the viewers’ boundary of vision. For Plexus 37, Dawe will install a wall to wall installation
that will dissect the back gallery space thereby creating a wall that separates the
gallery into two distinct regions. A further development of the series is the use of
silver metallic thread so that while a sealing off of the functional space is created,
it is by an ethereal structure. As with all of Dawe’s sculpture and installation work,
the political implications are not to be missed. In the wake of the current political
climate, Dawe invites the viewer to imagine Plexus 37 not as a border wall separating
humanity from its potential but as the literal “silver lining” of increased engagement
and mobilization.
In addition to his April Conduit Gallery exhibition, other 2017 exhibitions include: Toledo
Museum of Art, Toledo, OH (January); Denver Museum of Art, Denver, CO (February
through October) and the Jacksonville Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville,
FL (TBA.) Dawe is currently the Artist in Residence at the Fairmount AIR Program.
His ongoing Plexus series of site-specific installations has been exhibited internationally
including: The Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, TX (2016); The Amarillo
Museum of Art, Amarillo, TX (2016); the San Antonio International Airport, San Antonio, TX
(2016); The Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C. (2015); Brigham
Young Museum of Art, Provo, UT (2015); Newark Museum of Art, Newark, NJ (2015); the
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR (2014); Virginia Museum of
Contemporary Art, Virginia Beach, VA (2014); Contemporary Art Museum Raleigh, Raleigh,
NC (2014); Museum Rijswijk, Rijswijk, The Netherlands (2013); Art in Embassies Program,
Monterrey, Mexico (permanent) (2014); and Villa Olmo, Como, Italy (2012). His work has
been featured in numerous publications around the world, including Sculpture magazine;
the cover of the 12th edition of Art Fundamentals published by McGraw-Hill; and in author
Tristan Manco’s book Raw + Material = Art.

SARAH BALL                                                                                                                           Kindred

Conduit Gallery is honored to announce a solo exhibition of new paintings and
drawings by British artist, Sarah Ball. Using two twentieth century photographic
archives as the basis for a series of intimate paintings and drawings, the works in
Kindred reflect current issues relating to immigration and international policy in
the U.S. as well as Ball’s home country of England.

Immigrants, the title of this series is a word that has always been loaded with a
meaning and weight beyond the dry dictionary definition. The word is weapon, a
political pawn, a tabloid headline, to the point that one might forget that we are
dealing with human beings.

Sarah Ball, 2015

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the
wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to
me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Extract from ‘The New Colossus’ by Emma Lazarus,
(Inscribed on the Statue of Liberty)

In 2012, Sarah Ball began work on a series of portraits painted from historically archived
police mug shots. In choosing her subjects, from both her native England as well as
American archives, she looked not only to paint interesting faces but also people who may
have been on the right side of history but for their time, the wrong side of the legal system.
These were freedom riders, transsexuals, homosexuals, anarchists and political dissidents.
The resulting images, by untrained photographers, highlight subjective representations of
“truth” translated by the photographer, the viewer and ultimately the painter’s
interpretation. As Ball states, “I am interested in the act of translation; from the apparent
certainty of the photographic record to the malleable quality of paint, my work calls into
question history, memory and story.”
For Kindred, Ball delves into two distinct photographic archives; the archive of Augustus
Frederick Sherman who documented migrants who passed through Ellis Island in the early
1900's and the recently discovered archive of Costică Acsinte, a Romanian army
photographer during World War I who photographed the Eastern European country from
1925 through to his death in 1984 – spanning Romania’s foray into the Second World War
and the subsequent Communist rule that devastated the population and exhausted the
economy.
For the Immigrants series, Ball worked from the archive of Ellis Island registry clerk
Augustus Frederick Sherman. Sherman worked at Ellis Island from 1892 through 1925 and
in that time, the untrained photographer created hundreds of images documenting the new
arrivals to America. He took photographs of families, groups, and individuals who were
being detained either for medical reasons or for further interrogation. In many cases, the
subjects were fleeing poverty, natural disaster, and political and religious persecution.
For many, Ellis Island is the ultimate symbol of American immigration and the immigrant
experience. On April 18, 1890, Congress appropriated $75,000 to construct America’s first
Federal immigration station on Ellis Island. About 1.5 million immigrants had been
processed at the first building during its five years of use. Between 1905 and 1914, an
average of one million immigrants per year arrived in the US. By the time it closed on
November 12, 1954, twelve million immigrants had been processed by the U.S. Bureau of
Immigration. Today, over 100 million Americans—or something over about one-third of the
population—can trace their ancestry to the immigrants who first arrived in America at Ellis
Island. This makes Ball’s work timely and timeless both in her native England as well as the
US.
The Romanian series follow a different path. In 1930, Romanian photographer Costică
Acsinte opened a small commercial photography studio in Slobozia, about 80 miles east of
Bucharest. For two decades after the war, he was likely the only professional photographer
in the county, and by the time of his death in 1984, he had built an archive of epic,
anthropological scope containing upwards of 5,000 glass-plate negatives and several
hundred prints.
The images offer a glimpse into the daily life during a period when the nation was closed off
from the world. Romania disappeared from global view for much of the twentieth century,
after they were placed under the control of the USSR following the Second World War.
Romania suffered greatly under Soviet occupation. Thousands of leaders, intellectuals and
dissidents were interred in prison camps, tortured, or executed. As a largely rural nation,
Romania was ill-prepared for the industrialization insisted upon by the USSR and an
unknown number of people, estimated to be tens of thousands, were killed during the
period of agricultural collectivization that followed the end of the war.
The images are a portrait of the Romanian people through a tumultuous century, featuring
images of children playing in the snow, men drinking together, families at work, as well as
weddings, lavish funerals, market scenes, and dances. A group of seven single female
portraits in particular illustrate life between the wars, with a stark lack of men.
Acknowledgements:
Sarah Ball would like to express her thanks and appreciation to Peter Mesenholler (Museum
of Cologne and author of “Augustus F Sherman: Ellis Island Portraits 1905 – 1920” New
York: Aperture, 2005), The George Eastman House (Rochester, New York) and Cezar
Popescu (The Costică Ascinte Archive, Romania). The Costică Acsinte Archive project’s main
objective is the digitization and long term storage of Costică Acsinte’s photographic work
(1930 -1950): around 5.000 glass plates negative, a much smaller number of film negative
and an unknown number of photographic prints.
Born in 1965, Yorkshire, England, Sarah Ball lives and works near Penzance, Cornwall, UK.
Ball earned an undergraduate degree from Newport Art College in 1986 and a Masters of
Fine Arts from Bath Spa University in 2005. From January through June of 2016, Ball was
awarded an artist residency at Porthmeor Studios, Saint Ives, United Kingdom. In both
2014 and 2016, Ball was shortlisted for the Threadneedle Prize and was honored as Welsh
Artist of the Year in 2014 after having been shortlisted in 2007 and 2009. Exhibitions
include: Millennium Gallery, St Ives, Cornwall (2015, 2013); bo.lee Gallery, London (2014);
The Threadneedle Prize for painting and sculpture, Mall Galleries, London (2016) and Royal
Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, London (2013). Her work features in prominent
collections including: University of Glamorgan, South Wales, UK; Mall Galleries, London, UK;
The Royal National Theatre, London, UK; and The Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

ELLEN GEORGE                                                                                                                              APRIL

Conduit Gallery is honored to announce an exhibition of Vancouver based artist
Ellen George, the fourth for the artist at Conduit Gallery.
Drawing inspiration from light, sound and silence, George’s biomorphic elements are hand
formed in polymer. They appear to spring forth from a world all their own, bringing to mind
variations in nature and biology. The arrangements are composed of diminutive sculptures
placed in variations of pattern and order.
Born on Galveston Island, among Ellen’s earliest memories are visions of tiny aquatic life,
teeming in drops of Gulf water, collected and seen under the microscope in her parent’s
laboratory. The movement, clustering, translucency, and shift of scale, of these microscopic
animals and plants continue to influence and inform her work to this day.
George states, “My work reflects my deep and abiding interest in the botanical world. It is
where I turn to for a sense of color, whether deeply saturated or gently fading, and for
forms that evoke simple elemental shapes in nature like twigs, petals or stones. My pieces
suggest growing things - blossoming, blooming, multiplying - and more quiet events of
nature like seeds lying dormant in winter. These are the sort of commonplace events that I
think are magical and spark my imagination. I use polymer clay, a low-temperature curing
plastic clay, rather than earthen clay or glass because translucency is important to me, as
well as being able to form the work by hand. I mix my own colors, and even the most
saturated colors are translucent. Close inspection of the sculpture’s surfaces reveals
fingerprints.”
Ellen Geroge has traveled in North Africa, has lived in Dublin, Ireland, the Texas Hill Country
and in San Francisco’s North Beach, always staying on the course of developing her artwork
in new directions. She has made her home in Washington State over 25 years, where she
raised her son, and where she continues to live, sustaining a commitment to making art
daily.

left to right: Sarah Ball, Gabriel Dawe, Ellen George

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